Berlin sees 'positive' talks ahead of EU summit

19th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Talks to prepare a host of meetings in Brussels that will culminate in an EU summit which could make or break the euro are proceeding "positively", a German government spokesman said on Wednesday.

"There are extremely intensive discussions, extremely intensive conferences, phone calls, meetings in Brussels" to prepare the summit on Sunday, finance ministry spokesman Martin Kotthaus told a regular government briefing.

"These preparatory meetings are not completed. They will continue intensively in the coming days ... I would describe the discussions as productive and positive, but they are not finished," he added.

Eurozone finance ministers will gather in Brussels on Friday, followed by a meeting of finance ministers from all 27 EU member states on Saturday.

Later on Saturday, the foreign ministers will hold talks to prepare the summit of European leaders on Sunday that aims to thrash out a comprehensive solution to the eurozone debt crisis.

"I am optimistic that the meetings will be well prepared," Kotthaus said.

Comments about the likelihood of a breakthrough at the summit have already roiled financial markets in recent days.

On Monday, the euro and stocks plunged after Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said that "dreams that everything will be resolved and dealt with by next Monday cannot be fulfilled."

Decisions to be reached on Sunday would be part and parcel of "important working steps on a long path that will reach into next year," the spokesman added.

Markets then rallied after Merkel herself characterised the summit a day later as "an important step."

© 2011 AFP

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